Ex-Disney executive Zenia Mucha is joining popular Chinese Communist Party-linked video platform TikTok to oversee branding and communications, according to a company memo from CEO Shou Zi Chew obtained by Deadline.
Mucha was Disney’s Chief Communications Officer for 21 years until leaving in January 2022, and she will assume the new role of TikTok’s Chief Brand and Communications Officer, according to the memo. TikTok previously hired Mucha as a consultant to advise the company on dealing with U.S. criticism due to China connections and preventing the app from a nationwide ban, The Wall Street Journal reported in March.
“She and I agree that … it is essential that we … further fortify TikTok as a beloved brand and one of the most trusted entertainment platforms in the world,” Chew wrote. “With Zenia’s vast expertise and deep experience, we are well positioned to do so effectively.”
Mucha will serve as TikTok’s Chief Brand And Communications Officer, according to the memo. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is based in Beijing, and the company maintains an internal CCP party committtee.
TikTok admitted on Friday that certain sensitive data from American creators are stored in China in a letter sent in response to inquiries from lawmakers. It defended its previous statements claiming the company does not store “protected user data,” saying there is a difference between that and creator data.
Forbes published an investigation revealing that tax documents, social security information and other financial data of TikTok creators have been housed in China; TikTok also used ByteDance’s payment tools, according to Forbes.
“The American data has always been stored in Virginia and Singapore in the past,” Chew stated in his March testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
A former executive of ByteDance alleged that a group of CCP members within the company had special credentials to access U.S. user data, according to a legal filing, The Wall Street Journal reported. This included access to a “superuser” credential or “god credential” to view every piece of data the company obtained, and had a “backdoor channel” to receive U.S. user information.
Disney has worked with China on several projects, including a $5.5 billion deal to build the Shanghai Disney Resort and the production of the “Mulan” movie, which the company filmed partly in the Uyghur home province of Xinjiang. Disney leadership broke its agreement to meet with the families of Uyghur genocide victims regarding the company’s China operations, Republican lawmakers alleged in a May letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
TikTok did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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